Originally formed at the 1990 Gay Games III in Vancouver, B.C., Canada – the first time martial arts were ever held at the Gay Games – the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Martial Artists (IAGLMA, formerly known as HiMA) is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to outreach, inclusion and education for the gay, lesbian and supportive martial arts communities through the martial arts and self defense on local, national and international levels.
IAGLMA welcomes martial artists and all interested parties from around the world. Our membership currently includes:
- martial artists from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and West Africa;
- practitioners of all styles – competitive and non-competitive (such as many styles of Aikido), mat and floor practitioners;
- martial artists of all abilities – including those with special needs;
- martial artists of all ages, ranks and levels of martial arts and self defense experience;
- schools and organizations committed to our goals and mission.
IAGLMA is committed to the ideal of multi-style educational martial arts and self defense seminars and multi-style tournaments. Our goals are to:
- provide a safe and inclusive environment for all lesbian, gay and supportive martial artists;
- ensure gender parity for women in all levels of the martial arts;
- ensure the inclusion of martial artists with special needs;
- provide multi-style seminars, tournaments and learning opportunities within the international martial artists community — all styles, ranks, ages and abilities;
- continue our international outreach to include diversity of styles among our members and directors and to educate through the martial arts and self defense;
- work in partnership with traditional, local, national and international martial arts organizations to promote our ideals of inclusion, safety, respect, participation and attainment of personal best;
- work within and teach our lesbian and gay community worldwide to educate, empower and protect ourselves through local, national and international self defense seminars offered to the general public.